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Court orders framing of charges against Kalmadi, 10 others

 New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS): A Delhi court on Friday ordered framing of charges against former Commonwealth Games (CWG) organising committee chief Suresh Kalmadi and 10 others for forgery, cheating and conspiracy in a corruption case related to the 2010 Delhi Games.

The court's order came in a case against Kalmadi and his associates, including former organising committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot, in the case related to awarding a Rs.141 crore contract for time, scoring and records system for the Commonwealth Games. Financial irregularities have been alleged in the contract.

Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh passed the order for framing charges against Kalmadi, Bhanot, now a scretary-general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), and nine others for illegally awarding a contract to Swiss firm, Swiss Timing Omega that caused a huge loss to the exchequer.

The court said that prima facie charges of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and for offences under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act are made out against eight accused and three companies.

The court said: "Charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (destruction of evidence), 420 (cheating), 467, 468, 471 (relating to forgery), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and section 13(1)(d) read with section 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servants) of the PC Act are ordered to be framed against all the accused."

The court posted the matter for Jan 10 for formally framing charges against all the accused.

Kalmadi, who headed the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, was arrested April 26 for his alleged role in awarding the contract for installing the Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) system to Swiss Times Omega at an exorbitant cost of Rs.141 crore, allegedly causing a loss of over Rs.95 crore to the public exchequer.

The CBI in its first charge sheet described Kalmadi, who is a Lok Sabha member, as a prime accused and the mastermind in the corruption case related to financial irregularities in awarding the contract for a scoring system for the CWG. Ten others are also named in the charge sheet.

Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, the other accused in the case are OC's director general V.K. Verma, director general (procurement) Surjit Lal, joint director general (sports) A.S.V. Prasad and treasurer M. Jayachandran. They are no more associated with the sporting orgnisation.

Promoters of two construction companies - P.D. Arya and A.K. Madan of Faridabad-based Gem International and A.K. Reddy of Hyderabad-based AKR Constructions - are also accused in the case. Besides, Swiss Timing Omega is also an accused in the case.

The accused officials and three companies were earlier charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for cheating (Section 420), criminal conspiracy under Section 120(B) and forgery (Section 468 & 471)and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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